As area schools closed by concerns over air quality reopen, smoke remains a concern in the city, posing threats to the elderly, the young, and those with health issues.
San Francisco State University, which had canceled classes last week as air quality reached critical levels of particulate, is back open today, KRON 4 reports. Students struggling with breathing conditions "can pick up face masks at the health center, Mashouf Wellness Center and the information desk of the Cesar Chavez Student Center," they say.
Schools in Martinez are also back in session today, as are West Contra Costa Unified School District schools.
But not only is a Spare The Air day in effect all day for the Bay Area, but San Francisco's Department of Emergency Management warns that many in the city should avoid "prolonged exertion" outdoors. That's because the localAir Quality Index is presently at "orange," which means that it's unhealthy for "sensitive groups" like older folks, kids, and anyone with heart or lung disease.
The DEM urges everyone, especially those groups, to
- Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible
- Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside
- Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors
- Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you experience symptoms related to smoke exposure
Though the battle against the NorCal wildfires is definitely on the upswing, residents should expect even more bad air in SF in the days to come. That's because, the DEM says, changing wind patterns mean that our "air quality could be impacted for many days to come." Especially outside the immediate fire areas, "air quality will be variable and unpredictable. Air quality may improve at times or get worse, very quickly." So stay on your toes, and remain indoors when you can.